Student behavior and returning to school during COVID-19

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ecteach, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I feel like this is the elephant in the room. But, what do you think will or should be done with students who do not follow the social distancing, or other COVID-19 type rules? Should it be a zero tolerance policy? We have to come to terms with the fact that our students are not comparable to the students of the other countries who have opened up overseas.

    This, in my opinion, is going to be the hardest part of going back. It might just be my school though. Maybe your kids listen???? ;)
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    We will likely have extremely small class sizes, so I’m not too concerned because the ones we have in class will get very personalized attention. The social pressure to keep masks on will be high. But for me, it will be a zero tolerance issue probably, unless there are extenuating circumstances. If the mask comes off, they’re asked to put it back on, and they say “no”, that will be automatic office referral. Due to the nature of our school, though, I don’t see this happening often.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We are treating masks like any other dress code issue, as far as I know. Keeping them apart in the common areas will be the hardest thing. We don’t change classes with all grade levels together anyway, and we aren’t issuing lockers. Those things will help. The kids are also grouped into pods with the same teachers, and they go to classes together as well.

    I have everything ready in my classroom, but I always put tape around my desk and the Smartboard area. I haven’t done that yet. I also haven’t placed my student desks. I have 24 of them. It sure if I’ll keep them all and scatter student placement or if they will remove desks. Not sure where they’d store extra desks. I’ve babied those desks for 22 years and two classrooms, so I want to keep them in good shape. My first classroom was where old desks went to die, so I was so happy with new desks I have been vigilant with keeping them in top shape. I did let go of 11 of them when class sizes switched from 35 to 24.
     
  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Our school never enforced their own dress code. Admin wouldn't, pretty much tying teacher's hands. I have very little faith that if they can't enforce a dress code, they'll be able to enforce a mask code.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I'm worried about this too. I also think there will be a big uptick in severe behaviors with all of the new rules. Things that were "normal" last time they were in school are now off limits. Kids that have "issues" but do generally okay due to the predictability and structure of school will likely not do so well anymore. They will be worried that school will be taken away from them at any time, and school will no longer feel predictable with all of the new regulations. You know those kids who really act up before breaks? That's going to be every day. And who knows what new (or not new but worsened) social/emotional issues have been created during this time for kids. And now we get to deal with this with less money and resources. There will be no small class sizes here. The hybrid model has pretty much totally been abandoned. Most districts have announced they'll be going back full time in person.

    I don't know what the answer is. We have a newish law in my state that K-2 students can't be suspended, so there goes "zero tolerance." And doing restorative practice type stuff when people's lives are at stake doesn't seem prudent either. I also suspect we may have issues with the spotlight on all of the racial discrimination stuff recently. No way is admin going to want to be stricter about student behavior in this climate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I’m very worried about managing behavior. I do not think we should go back with such strict/untenable distancing requirements and sanitization protocols.
    I have no idea how to manage behavior or teach students from a distance. MA says that a 3 ft distance is sufficient.
    If we do go back to work, I know that we will see severe behaviors increase and that the quality of teaching will be low in these conditions.

    I plan on being very strict about masks and sending kids out if they remove them.
    I also plan on putting tape around my desks/smart board area and sending kids out if they cross the tape. I am hoping everyone on my team will do the same thing.

    I am pretty sure that most of school will be teaching these new procedures and that there won’t be much learning. I plan on operating with distance learning in the classroom because we won’t be able to collect or hand out papers.

    But honestly, my goal is to keep myself safe. It’s clear to me that our government does not care about us, but our lives are more important than one year of education (or free daycare) for the kids.
     
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  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Here is my concern. Many districts (according to the NEA site) are requiring teachers to sign a waiver or adding a statement to their contract (that has already been done) stating that if a teacher gets sick with covid-19, it is not workers comp, it is to be handled like having the flu or a cold, and the teacher must use his/her sick leave -- which for most of us, would not be sufficient even for the quarantine period, much less if we actually got seriously ill.

    When I was grandfathered in, my sick leave accumulated year-to-year, and I always had tons of it -- but nowadays, at many districts, you lose your sick leave at the end of the each year if you don't use it (this is a new trend that most veteran teachers aren't terribly aware of, because they are grandfathered in on the old system.) Also, newish teachers, or teachers who have recently taken maternity leave, have maybe only one or two sick days on the books. So if they get exposed (but not terribly ill,) that is a 14 day quarantine (minimum) --I guess that after the first couple of days, they'd be on leave-without-pay. What about if they actually get seriously sick? Many teachers are older, and have other medical issues, and are therefore, at risk.

    I would hope all districts would be looking out for their teachers in additional to their students, but knowing the education system as I do, I am concerned.
     
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  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My district has been and will continue to follow the FFCRA (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave) in regards to employee leave related to COVID-19. We've been instructed to contact human resources when unsure about what type of leave is appropriate to take, and they will then help us to determine if it is regular sick leave or leave provided by FCCRA. It looks like this law is in effect through the end of December, and it would seem that nearly all public school districts in the US are required to follow it.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I'm less concerned about students making intentional bad choices and more concerned about all of us, adults and children, being cognizant of our bodies all day long. I think it's really easy to get too close to another person without really thinking about it. It's really easy to touch your mask or your face without really thinking about it. I'm a fully grown, educated adult, and I have still made mistakes about getting too close to another person or touching my face, even when only at risk for a short period of time (like 5 minutes). It's going to be a lot harder to remember and make good choices when it's a full 7.5-8 hour work day. I imagine it's only more difficult for little ones who lack the full understanding of the situation and risk or for teenagers who feel social pressure to behave a certain way.
     
  11. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    To me this is what is the most scary. If I get COVID19 my job should be secure and I should be given the time off without the stress of worrying.
     
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I will be out on mat leave towards the start of the year. So many concerns there... before giving birth, I’ll be at high risk for Covid (pregnant women are officially on the high risk list now), and maternity leave uses all of our sick days, so I won’t have any for the remainder of the year when I return. It’s a horrible system.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  13. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    So scary! But congratulation! I feel like I know you because I read all your responses. Good luck! I've had 2 friends have babies since March and they said the hospital was very good about keeping things safe. They both just wanted to get home as soon as possible.
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I don't think they can terminate you if you have COVID-19 even if you are out for a long time. I have never heard of a teacher losing their job over being sick. If that happened with someone getting COVID-19 not only would that be "over the top" cruel, but I would expect illegal. I wouldn't worry about that.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Thank you! :love:
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I was also going to post about the FFCRA. My HR department sent information out about it when it was passed. Public schools are required to follow it. I do think that technically the school can still make you use your sick days. For example, in my district we already get 12 annual leave days per year. If you haven't used them (or have others banked) and have to do the 2 week quarantine, you'd have enough of your own sick days to do that, and the district would technically be following the law as they paid you for the time while quarantining.

    This could negatively impact teachers who have to use all of their days on that and then will have to take unpaid leave for other illnesses throughout the year. Especially if the district is insistent that teachers stay home for any minor illness (I think they will do this, at least to start). It also doesn't account for the small minority who may get seriously ill and require a lot of time off- much more than 2 weeks. Personally, I think I have something like 50 leave days. But IME teachers who are parents tend to use all or almost all of their days every year.
     
  17. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    I'm wondering how it'd go with districts like mine, where sick leave is earned over time. We get 10 days per year (and can roll over unused days), but start with 0. I didn't have any sick leave days until October.

    There's already parents suing over the school re-opening guidelines. Some parent in southern IL is suing the state BOE and DoH arguing that temperature checks, limits of 50 persons in a space, and masks are "arbitrary and capricious" and violating their little darling's right to an education. Hate to tell them, but anything laid down by the DoH trumps most other agencies.
     
  18. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    We will probably be suspending the first week of school.
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    We just had a boarding school in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona with 23 students and 8 employees testing positive for COVID-19. Just want to share that some of the schools opening up are finding a spread of the virus. Our situation in Arizona currently is much worse than most states, and shows there is a time to open and a time not to. I do hope that things get better enough in August and September that a lot of, if not all, schools can open.
     
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Indeed. I just had my baby Monday (she's pretty cute, btw) and I will have like all of six weeks before contract starts, which I suppose isn't the worst, but it also means I have nothing to buffer into the beginning of the year.
     
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  21. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    US Mat. Leave policies are the worst... but congratulations! Hope you and your little one are doing alright :heartdecoration:
     
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  22. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Woohoo! Congrats! Enjoy every day of that 6 weeks. I hope you get to do online learning or stay home. <3
     
  23. RainStorm

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  24. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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  25. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    The cases will be even higher next month. Even with the best protocols, I do not think schools will be equipped enough to open the doors.
     
  26. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I hope they’ll make the right choice and stay online.
     
  27. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    It will cost more money to open up schools safely than go online imo.
     
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  28. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Last week, our provincial government announced that they will be providing funds for enhanced cleaning and health/safety protocols. When you do the math, it will be enough money to provide hand sanitizer for every student in the province for 10 days. That's not really going to cut it.
     
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  30. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    MrsC., your observation is spot on. People outside of teaching simply do not "get it." Other countries that have returned safely seem to get it! Canada is lagging behind that, and let's not even mention the US! The US is taking the firm "do nothing" stand, while crossing their fingers and chanting "the teachers will figure it out!" Education is so crucial, both for children's wellbeing and for working parents to be able to return to work, and yet, in the US, our government is doing NOTHING! I simply can't understand it.
     
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  31. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    And the ongoing cost throughout the year is going to be enormous.
     
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  32. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    As a country, our numbers are looking pretty good. Here in Ontario, we are reporting the highest daily new cases in the country, but have been well under 200 new cases/day almost every day for the past 3 weeks or so. There have been a couple of spikes related to farm workers, but those were contained and the numbers went right back down. We are still in Stage 2 of reopening, and are moving very cautiously. That said, I'm nervous about what the fall will bring. There's still so much uncertainly and things can change direction really quickly.
     
  33. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    When you hear of people taking extra precautions and not even being around anyone and still getting it, yea, it's coming in the schools.
     
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  34. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Well, Florida DOE just published its plan -- all Florida public schools MUST be open for in-person instruction of ALL students a minimum of 5 days per week, unless the county health department requires something different. http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse...MY6rLrEVnKsnz48rj5EbwB2R67v98zjD6IgMs5yyQpQg0

    So it has been decided for Florida. Most of the schools here open early August, so I guess somehow, they will have to be ready.

    Now remember, Florida is having a huge spike in covid-19 right now due to hasty re-opening and the refusal of the state to require/enforce masks and social distancing.

    I'm just shaking my head in disbelief...

    I know everyone wants the schools to reopen and things to go back to normal, but after what we just witnessed here with the beaches reopening, I have huge doubts in the safety of this plan. We currently have 206,447 cases, and 3,778 deaths (and don't forget, FL doesn't count non-residents, which is a huge part of our population, in these numbers.)

    fl covid.png
     
  35. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    A death trap
     
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  36. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I just read this, and I think it makes quite a statement: "The United States has reported 2.9 million coronavirus cases to date, and at least 127,000 people have died of the virus nationwide. The United States has had more than twice as many reported deaths as any other country and accounts for nearly a quarter of all deaths attributed to the virus worldwide."

    and

    "In Miami-Dade County, authorities reversed course on a reopening plan, issuing an emergency order that shut down gyms, party venues and restaurants, with exceptions for takeout and delivery. That order will go into effect Wednesday. Florida has seen its caseload soar past 10,000 per day and 200,000 overall. “We want to ensure that our hospitals continue to have the staffing necessary to save lives,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in his announcement.

    (Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/s...tions-rise/ar-BB16pmw8?ocid=spartan-ntp-feeds)

    And yet, the Florida governor has just announced that all Florida public schools must open for full-time in-person instruction for ALL students, a minimum of 5 days per week. (It does have a caveat that says "unless local county health departments say otherwise.) Many counties won't contradict the governor's decree, even if the infection rates are enormous.
     
  37. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    Once the kids come out, the numbers are going even higher.
     
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  38. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    I heard early on this was dangerous if you got it and were older +/or had risk factors. I got a call from a dr. relative telling us to be careful. So I do not think this virus is a hoax, but it is being misreported on imo. I have heard lately the way they are counting cases is insane in some places.
    If you have contact w/ a person who gets Covid and live in certain places, they call you. They ask you questions from a chart. If you have just 1 major symptom of Covid like a cough, breathing problems, OR fever, they count you as a positive w/out testing you and tell you to quarantine..
    If you have 2 milder symptoms ( maybe feel tired and have a headache), they count you as a positive and tell you to quarantine. Then they take everyone you have been in contact with and call them and repeat. ( That adds up!)
    Hospitals have lost tons of money not doing elective surgeries. Several drs and nurses have come out and spoken on the way they are pressured to count every death as Covid b/c of the federal money tied to Covid. So I am not sure about the huge spikes we see.
    I am still being very careful though and remember your bout. w/ it.
    In order to get federal funding, schools have to start normally unless the area you live has high numbers of social transmission.
    So maybe overcounting helps. I think governors want the money. Some mayors here have made different mandates than the governor
    .Like some islands or fly in villages will not allow for flights to come in unless they are bringing supplies. The mayor of 1 of the cities made more mandates that the governor would not make. ( We have no mandates. Just suggestions...)
    Here they are saying each school will open and stay open depending on the ST numbers. So 1 school in the district may be open while another will be shut down which to me is insane. It is not all set in stone yet though here. I feel really bad for teachers who have to go back w/ so much uncertainty.
     
  39. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I am not sure, but I know many people who have been tested, and they all have gotten the actual tests up their nose. If the case counts are fake, it seems strange since the number of people being hospitalized for COVID-19 has skyrocketed.

    The beds here had so much availability in Arizona (governor loved to show this) and now the beds are so full of COVID-19 patients (over 25% of them are ages 20-44 which is quite concerning.) Hospitals have had to decide whether to keep a COVID-19 patient or treat someone who needs a transplant. It is a terrible situation. If we add the school employees who will end up in the hospital with the virus, who will be able to care for them in Arizona? There won't be any more beds available. Our teachers deserve better.
     
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  40. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    You bet they deserve better! :) That is why I am thinking if they are overcounting in some places, it might benefit teachers. IDK...though!
     
  41. whizkid

    whizkid Devotee

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    And who will come and sub?
     

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